If, like me, the last few New Year's Eves have been spent having bought an overpriced ticket for a distinctly average night with exceptionally long queues, now is the time for change. With last year's count down resulting in a bag theft an an incredibly long taxi ride home, I decided to hang up my danicng shoes and venture for something a bit different this year. And for anyone who fanices an alternative to the Capital's club scene, check out The Amazing Blog's favourite finds for a fabulous start to 2012.
An obvious but worthy choice for seeing in the New Year is the firework festivities on display from London's Southbank. Overlooking the River Thames, it is certain to be a spectacular show with a stunning backdrop. But while you may be able to avoid the dreaded long queues, arrive early to bag yourself a great viewing spot - our favourites are the Victoria Embankment and the Waterloo, Westminster and Jubilee Bridges.
If, however, you'd rather a more cosy option and don't fancy starting off New Year's Eve with an outdoor pursuit, a trip to the Secret Cinema could be just what you're looking for. The film and theme is kept hush-hush until the day, but you can expect live music and DJs, hundreds of actors who recreate the film as you stumble across the set, food stalls and a impressive set decoration. The effort these guys go to is definitely worth the ticket price, making for an exceedingly impressive alternative night out. See the Secret Cinema's website for more details.
Or for anyone who didn't manage to squeeze in a spot of ice-skating in the lead up to Christmas, why not spend the last day of the year on London's most glamorous ice rink at Somerset House? The 18th century courtyard will be a magical setting for this very special event and when buying your tickets you can choose whether to skate or spectate. With a live DJ, The Jinks accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Tom Ashe, revellers can enjoy champagne at midnight and exclusive access to the River Terrace for a view of the Mayor’s Fireworks on the Thames. Tom's Skate Lounge will be open throughout the evening serving luxury hot chocolate, cupcakes and winter cocktails, and you can pop into Tom's Deli for a hearty burger, hot dogs or wrap to keep you going until the clock strikes 12. And for the more sophisticated reveller, new café and tapas bar which has been described by the Evening Standard as one of the most elegant places to eat in London, Fernandez & Wells, will be open all evening; enjoy champagne and wines by the glass, hand-carved jamon iberico, Tuscan salamis and French farmhouse cheeses. A truly decadent way to see in 2012!
Not forgetting anyone wanting to throw a New Year's Eve drinks party, The Amazing Blog has come across a lovely and easy-to-use cook book put together by the people at Olives from Spain. Olives from Spain are delicious gourmet olives that can be the base for any type of dish. From fun finger-foods to enticing entrees, and even a classic recipe for a dirty martini, the cook book which centers around Olives from Spain is a great place to start when planning a great New Year’s party treat. We especially love the recipe for the chocolate discs which make a unique and tasty treat.
Chocolate Discs with Olives and Pepper (serves 4)
Half a block of dark chocolate / 15 green olives / 1 tbsp pink peppercorns
Halve the olives. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Spoon dollops of chocolate onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. In the centre of each dollop arrange the olives and pink peppercorns. Place another sheet of paper on top and press lightly to form small discs. Place in the freezer for a few minutes until the chocolate solidifies. Remove and peel off the sheets of paper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
And last but by no means least, as opposed to offering your guests a glass of bubby to toast the Ney Year, why not treat them to a fabulous Martini made with real Russian Vodka? Our favourite choice is Legend of Kremlin Vodka which traces its origin back to the 15th Century and the authenticated recipe for the original Russian Vodka made by the monk Isidor in the Kremlin. Today Legend of Kremlin is the official vodka served at functions in Kremlin and the State Duma, the Russian Parliament in Moscow. Harrod's gave it their White Spirit of the Month award and everyone at The Amazing Blog can testify that it really is delicious, and perfect for a Midnight Martini on New Year's Eve! Legend of Kremlin Vodka is available at both Harrods and Sainsburys.
- 3 1/2 oz vodka or coffee vodka
- 1/4 oz coffee liqueur
- lemon twist for garnish
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Stir with a bar spoon.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a lemon twist.
Wishing all our friends and followers an Amazing 2012!